Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) 2021 has revealed many businesses in the mining industry were financially better off this year than 12 months ago due to maintaining a wide range of export destinations and being better able to manage risks.
Those businesses that did well were mostly large and operated in the mining, media and telecommunications industries.
“The results of this survey demonstrate the success of our government’s work to support Australian businesses to be globally competitive,” Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan said.
“Businesses also underscored the importance of market diversification when exporting, with those businesses selling into a greater number of export markets more likely to report being better off financially compared to a year ago”.
The survey was conducted by University of Canberra researchers on behalf of the Export Council of Australia and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).
The results show that despite the deep and wide-ranging challenges presented by COVID-19 and a global context of increasing protectionism, the Australian mining industry maintained a fierce determination to prosper.
“The 2021 survey also highlighted how critical the Morrison Government’s COVID-19 emergency response measures have been,” Tehan said.
“Our government’s international freight assistance mechanism helped maintain the air link between Australian exporters and nearly 60 international destinations, ensuring producers could continue to reach their international customers in the face of COVID-19 disruptions”.
Hurdles due to actions by foreign governments such as increased restrictions, clearance costs, tariffs and the rejection of goods only affected 34 per cent of businesses in the mining industry, far less than other industries.
However, 70 per cent of mining businesses stated that export conditions had been more challenging over the past 12 months.
Outlooks for 2022 and beyond are generally positive, as COVID-19 restrictions ease and overseas economies recover, with 64 per cent of mining businesses believing they will be better off financially in 12 months’ time, and 17 per cent said they would be about the same.